Later Living 2021 | Blog Library
Hear from Later Living 2021 collaborators and Property Week insiders in this series of thought-leadership blogs.
There’s more to sustainability than just carbon…
Our industry is rightly focused on carbon reduction right now, but it’s only one aspect of truly sustainable design.
Schemes being net zero, operationally net zero, carbon neutral etc are to be applauded. However, truly sustainable developments are those that people actually want to live in and enhance the community around them. This is particularly true in the later living sector where there’s a real opportunity to create healthy homes that integrate communities, enhance people’s lives, and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Low energy bills should never be at the expense of good daylight and levels of fresh air, and it’s not acceptable to design spaces that overheat easily with slow response heating systems that exacerbate the problem. Holistic design means you can ‘have your cake and eat it’ – achieving high standards of occupant health & wellbeing whilst still hitting net zero targets. Let’s hope the Future Homes Standard starts to consider more ambitious targets for daylight levels, air change, acoustics and even technology infrastructure alongside the carbon targets. In the meantime, it’s important for us to continue to push the boundaries well beyond the minimum standards that exist.
The other key aspect of a fully sustainable development is the creation of a community both within and outside of the development. The scheme itself and its amenity facilities should actively encourage this, creating a variety of comfortable and exciting spaces that bring people together, mirroring the principles above. A later living development should also act as an asset to its local area: a place with both great facilities and people with a wealth of life experience to offer the wider community. Ultimately, by opening up a scheme and offering value outwards, the benefits are multi-fold – creating a truly sustainable model for the future.
With 20 years’ experience in Building Services, Mark who is a Partner and the Residential Sector Lead at Hoare Lea, has experience across all sectors with a focus on residential developments and particularly later living schemes. Mark is passionate about creating sustainable healthy homes that people are proud to live in and led the Hoare Lea input into connector housing which was announced the joint winner of RIBA Home of 2030 in December 2020.